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About the Foundation

DLF LogoAmy Blansit and husband, Drew Lewis, dreamed big and took a leap of faith purchasing the Fairbanks school. Although Drew lost his battle with cancer in May 2013, Amy continues to work to achieve their shared vision of community betterment.  ​The Drew Lewis Foundation focuses on asset-based urban development to realize a community’s full potential. Residents of a community are inclined to preserve what they love. If a neighborhood’s parks, schools, and homes, are poorly kempt, the motivation to preserve them fades away. An asset-based approach revitalizes the community infrastructure, and renews residents’ neighborhood pride. The Drew Lewis Foundation plants roots in the community and builds from within, which opens up new opportunities for funding sources, and adds leverage to those already established. The Drew Lewis Foundation creates special initiatives to raise awareness, provide resources, and assist in the preservation and renovation of community assets.

​​Our mission at the Drew Lewis Foundation is to improve the quality of life in under-served urban neighborhoods. To accomplish this, we partner with existing area organizations to establish community hubs, which boost the economic and physical wellbeing of neighborhood residents. We achieve these outcomes through a variety of means, including educational and vocational programs, garden-to-table initiatives, public health services, and community events.

About Drew Lewis

Drew Lewis

Drew loved the outdoors and was happiest on the water at Table Rock Lake. For Drew the lake was life at its best and meant family, friends and fun. He loved the hot sunny days and cool evening breezes accompanied by sunsets. Throughout his life Drew was drawn to people and people were drawn to Drew. He was well suited to his chosen field in real estate sales. He was a graduate of the University of Missouri and a highlight of his collegiate experience was serving as social chairman of his fraternity Phi Delta Theta.  Drew also loved to cook for his friends and family, a skill he acquired in his early years in an attempt to impress girls.

Unfortunately in 2012 Drew was diagnosed with colon cancer. The word “battle” is so frequently associated with cancer. Drew waged an all-out war. Immediately after his diagnosis, Drew decided to take his journey public, using social media and creating a Facebook page to keep friends informed and to provide information to help others stay healthy. With the tireless support of Amy and an incredible network of supporters, Drew’s story quickly went viral, gaining local, regional, national and even international attention. Drew was determined to live and his passion and purpose lives on in the momentum his cause created manifested in the Drew Lewis Foundation.

About The Fairbanks

History

The Fairbanks was built in 1906 as a public school. It has had several additions since it opened its doors over a century ago.  The Fairbanks began as a four-room brick building and quickly expanded into an eight classroom schoolhouse with indoor plumbing in 1910. Years later, a cafeteria, gymnasium, two additional classrooms and a library were added. Fairbanks Elementary served Grant Beach Neighborhood area students for 100 years. In 2007 the school closed and attending students were routed to other area schools.  After the school’s closing, the buildings deteriorated and suffered vandalism.  With new ownership in 2013, the buildings are being restored and leased to community betterment initiatives.

Progress

The importance of preservation of these buildings lie in their namesake, “Fairbanks”. The name Jonathan Fairbanks is well-known in the history of the Springfield Public School System. The successful development of the SPS is due largely to Fairbanks’ untiring efforts and capable administration as superintendent. A man of enlightened views, Jonathan Fairbanks was known to be eminently practical while liberal in his consideration of the various propositions which entered into the scheme of modern education.

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The Northwest Project

Focusing on a Brighter Future for Families

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Community Foundation of the Ozarks

Connecting a Passion to Purpose

the-northwest-project-154x154

The Northwest Project

Focusing on a Brighter Future for Families

imgres

Community Foundation of the Ozarks

Connecting a Passion to Purpose